My son Matthew (aka Cow) Shea makes me so proud as he writes about this appalling spectacle:
Putting aside the fact that he randomly attacked innocent bystanders with tear gas to clear a way to the photo op, putting aside the fact that he didn’t ask for permission to do this and just forced himself on an unwilling church that was alarmed and disgusted by this, putting aside the fact that he went from taking this picture immediately to unconstitutionally proclaiming that he was going to make the military attack American citizens, and putting aside the cheap and easy (and true) jokes about how silly he looks holding any book and specifically this book in specifically this weird way:
It just seems like now would’ve been a great moment for literally any kind of moral leadership, word of wisdom, useful parable, even just a trite and familiar passage about Being Nice™. It would have so easy for him to just do… anything. He could’ve just… tried, at all. I know that he doesn’t actually read the Bible or know anything about it, and I know that listening to him read the Bible would probably make my skin crawl and I’m probably a hypocrite about this and many other things.
But to flagrantly use it as a prop like this is so WILDLY stupid and evil. He doesn’t crack it open. He doesn’t care. Somebody asked him in the moment if that was his personal bible and his glassy-eyed response was just “It’s *a* bible.”
He doesn’t give a crap about any version or variety of Christianity or biblical teaching or strain of philosophy or moral ideal. He doesn’t even try to talk about it. This is just a costume he puts on. He is just signaling to Christians everywhere “Look, I am holding your magic item, therefore all the violence I am eager to inflict on people is also covered with the magic you like so much.” It’s embarrassing, but it’s also offensive. It is a thin shell of candied Christianity coating a putrid maggot meatball he is about to ram into all of our mouths.
*This* is taking The Lord’s name in vain. Forget cussing. He is using callous heartless violence against people in pain, the meek and the poor, and while he stands on their neck to make himself seem taller, he announces to his victims proudly: “I’m on Team God, and neither of us give a shit about you”.
Spot on. This truly is taking the Name of God in vain and reveals why it is not a mere meaningless taboo but a grave evil that injures and kills people.
Today this dimestore antichrist is at the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, turning the Catholic Church into a prop. Abp. Wilton Gregory responds:
This is good. But what I would really like to have seen was Abp. Gregory standing at the door of the shrine as Ambrose stood in the Church at Milan and forbade the Emperor to enter without doing public penance for his slaughter of the people of Thessalonica. Maybe there is some legal reason I don’t understand concerning property rights that keeps him from doing something like this (I have a dim notion that the Shrine is run by the Knights of Columbus or something, so maybe it is not technically his turf. I dunno.) But it still should have been done by whoever runs that place.
Anyway, we cannot allow the Church to be made a prop of this violent, lawless regime. You shall not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain.